Toponyms, Emblem Glyphs, and the Political Geography of Southern Campeche

  • Nikolai Grube Universität Bonn, Bonn, Germany
Keywords: Maya epigraphy, Classic period, political geography, emblem glyphs


This article presents new epigraphic data from southern Campeche, Mexico, at which it focuses on the occurrences of toponyms and emblem glyphs and their meaning for the understanding of the Classic Maya political geography. Observing that several emblem glyphs found in the inscriptions at some recently (re)located archaeological sites are incomplete versions, lacking certain elements characteristic of full emblems, the author labels them ‘toponymic titles’ and suggests they denote lower positions of the corresponding polities in regional political hierarchy. One of the only two full emblem glyphs known so far in southern Campeche corresponds to the Kaan dynasty, during a certain period associated with Calakmul, while the identity of the other one, representing a bat, is questionable, although in the late period it may have been adopted by Oxpemul, a centre that seems to have benefited from the demise of Calakmul.